About this blog

This Blog is named after an ancient gnoseological riddle which hints hidden, disseminated, omnipresent wisdom.
I invite you to search, listen and observe with me for "the word of tree, whisper of stone, and humming together of the abyss and stars."


Don’t be afraid of deconstruction!

     It is a liberating philosophical insight and process. If we are in prison and in shackles, we yearn to be released. Deconstruction is a way which can help to take the spiritual prison of deceptions and illusions of language and ideology apart and set us free.
      Take for instance that famous, almost proverbial, Allegory of the Cave from Plato’s Republic. It speaks about prisoners in the cave who see only shadows of real things. Philosophers, the enlightened minds, are the only ones who have the privilege of leaving the cave and seeing things as they truly are... But what if this entire allegory is just another kind of deceptive ideological prison? What if Plato, himself a philosopher, constructed this allegory to postulate for many generations to come the difference between the cave and true world of forms outside and to deny understanding to anybody but his own pals? This whole dialogue is, after all, proposing a society governed by philosophers. The whole Allegory of the Cave can be deconstructed as a self-promoting tool powered by flattery.
       In the early 18th century, Giovanni Battista Vico, the Italian philosopher and linguist noted a very radical thought: verum esse ipsum factum (The true itself is stated/made). He is considered the father of constructivist epistemology. According to this theory, we humans are the constructing authors of our culture, society, economy, justice system and science. The primary construct is our language, the very essence of our communication and the only tool of our own thinking.
       I think that Vico was right; everything in our understanding of the world is in the end our own human construct. Here comes the good news of deconstruction. Everything that has been constructed can be also deconstructed; there are no untouchable constructs. If there is a thing which pretends to be untouchable and absolute, if there is a construct which claims authority over the lives of others, if there is a thing which controls or enslaves, such a thing should be the primary target for deconstructive probing. Nothing human is untouchable or holy.
       And what about religion, rituals, theologies, prayers, grace, even God godself? Can they... Could they...  Should they ... also be deconstructed? Of course they can and they should be! Especially if they are constructed to abuse trust and authority, promote ignorance, perpetuate violence. Religions have this dark propensity to shield, cloak and justify some very ugly stuff. Throughout the biblical tradition we hear about this constant deconstruction of religious illusions and deceptions. If it is deconstructible, then it is not of true divine nature. And if it is not deconstructible, well, then we must shut up (to paraphrase the famous final proposition of Ludwig Wittgenstein.)
       This weekend with our guest John Caputo we will look at what and how many of our social and religious structures Jesus would de*construct, and hopefully we will also touch that space of awakened and hesitant silence.


No comments: